William Hone to The Times, 23 December, 1817 (Published, 24 December)

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William Hone to The Times, 23 December, 1817.1-TEI-

To the Editor of The Times
67, Old Bailey
Dec. 23, 10 o'clock p.m.


Information has this moment been given me, that bills have been posted to-day, announcing the republication of the parodies upon which I have been tried. Permit me to assure the public, through the medium of your paper, that I am much disgusted, and may perhaps be much injured in public estimation, by this procedure; and that I have no intention of republishing those works in any other shape than in the report of my trials, which I am preparing for the press, and wherein their appearance is indespensable, as constitution the ground of the prosectuions upon which I was acquitted. I disclaim all knowledge whatever of those bills; and I desire to add, that if I did not think it necessary that a complete and accurate report of my trials should be upon record, I would not republish the parodies at all. I shall never write any work of the same tendency again; and when I come to publish that report, I shall feel it my duty most earnestly to exhort all my fellow-citizens to abstain from parodying any part of the Holy Writ, or the Service of the Church of England.2

I am, Sir, with great respect,
Your obedient servant,
The Times, 24 December, 1817, p. 3. [return]
Hone received some criticism from his supporters after the publication of this letter in The Times. Some felt that, in making this claim about scriptural parody and in distancing himself from his own publications, Hone was in effect granting the legitimacy of the Attorney General's courtroom arguments and thus undermining the significance of his acquittals. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-12